Assuming your IP assets have been identified, the next step is to prioritize the importance of each asset.
Assets that generate or are likely to generate the most revenue or draw the most exposure should be given the highest priority.
Possible Strategies to employ:
- A defensive strategy, where the purpose of the IP owner is primarily to obtain exclusive rights and enforce these rights in case of infringement;
- An offensive strategy, where the purpose of the IP owner is primarily to gain a significant competitive advantage over identified competitors. For example, the IP owner will attempt to build an IP protection that will restrict the freedom to operate of its competitors;
- Commercialisation of IP assets, where the purpose of the IP owner is primarily to sell, license or franchise its IP assets. In order to effectively exploit IP the exists within a business, a sound IP strategy must be developed to support the business goals and objectives of the company and provide ongoing returns on investments.
Once the strategy has been identified, take the steps to implement and protect the IP within the company.
Finally, remember that IP protection is geographical in nature and there is a need to scan the countries the business intends to be in.
Some things you should check for are:
- Ensure you own the IP in the market
- Check if you are free to use your IP or if the IP belongs to another party.
- Where appropriate, invest in prior art searches or freedom to operate studies (for technical inventions), trademark availability searches (to check whether a name is available), legal audits or due diligence in order to ensure that the IP created by your company is duly assigned to your company;
- Whether adequate steps have been taken to protect your IP and confidential information in relation to your employees, contractors, clients and competitors;
There are specialised IP Lawyers that can advise in these areas.
Check on Accel8’s platform to seek out a lawyer specialising in this area of Ip Management.